The Rolla grad has stops in Australia and Hawaii on his calendar for the next couple of weeks
Many high school graduates like to relax a bit after getting there diploma, but recent Rolla grad Xaviar Douglas is taking a slightly different approach.
"We're going to Australia to play football for a week then after that we're going to Hawaii for a three day retreat," said Douglas. "After that I might be doing the decathlon and try to go to the Junior Olympics for that then I go off to college."
To say Douglas is going to be busy for a majority of his summer is an understatement. He hopped on a plane on Sunday night to make the long trip to Hawaii. It'll definitely be a change of pace, as it's currently winter down under. After a free day on Monday, Douglas will begin practicing with his new teammates to play a week of football with DownUnder Sports. Teams will each play two bracket games in the back end of the week before capping the week off with a championship game and an awards ceremony.
When Douglas gets there, he'll need to adjust on the fly and not just to the weather. He'll be playing with a fresh group of teammates and coaches. He's spoken with a few people, but he'll be learning a lot of the football side of things as he goes along.
"I talked to a couple of the coaches and we talked about the experience we're going to have, but we didn't really talk about the play styles and what systems we're going to run," said Douglas. "I talked to one other player from Illinois and he seems like a pretty nice guy and I'm gonna have fun playing with him."
One thing that Douglas does know is he'll primarily be playing linebacker, but even that is subject to change as coaches get a feel for their players.
"I'm pretty sure they have me at outside linebacker right now, but I'll play any position that they need me to play," said the Rolla grad.
Douglas has tried to prepare for this week of football just like he does any other football event, but it will be a bit different when he lands on the other side of the equator.
"I've just been making sure I put in work in the weight room and running a little, making sure I stay fit," said Douglas.
"And fundraising of course," Douglas added with a laugh. "I've been trying to raise money to actually get there. I'm making sure I have fun up there and do what needs to be done."
The Rolla grad is looking forward to soaking in the Australian culture the most. The football will be a blast, but it's not every day that you get to experience a new country for the first time.
"Just the different culture and how they do stuff," said Douglas of what he was excited for. "Seeing kangaroos and koalas and stuff."
But Australia isn't the only destination on Douglas' radar. After he's done there, he'll hop on a plane yet again for a three day retreat in Hawaii. He'll then come back to try to qualify for the Junior Olympics. He's just trying to look past all the traveling in order to stay in the right mindset.
"It's kind of more of a mindset," said Douglas. "You've gotta mentally prepare yourself before you do physically because of mind over matter. And to just have fun with it, it's a once in a lifetime thing that I get to do."
With everything Douglas will be doing, the goal is simple.
"My goal has always been to do my best and represent my family and myself and make sure that I hold a high standard for the underclassmen to come up and try to get," said Douglas. "It just pushes everybody to keep going."
At the end of the day, Douglas is honored to be invited to play in these games and he's looking forward to the adventure ahead.
"I feel honored because not many people get to do that," said the Rolla grad. "When I was invited to the All-Star game, I was the only person from Rolla. That was a big honor and I'm just glad to do it."